Find out how trailing plants can give your house a lush, spa-like vibe without breaking the bank. Are you trying to liven up a tight space? Do you love greenery but lack a green thumb? Trailing houseplants may be the answer. These plants are vividly colored and hang down vertically so that they don’t take up too much space. Some varieties are also quite hardy.
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Your Guide to the Best Trailing Houseplants
Houseplants are becoming increasingly popular these days. And it’s really no surprise! We think about how great plant decor looks, but another benefit is stress-relieving plants. There are many types of plants to reduce our stress, calm our mind or body, and help us relax. Who wouldn’t want more in their home?
It doesn’t matter if you have a bright, sunny room or low-light conditions. There is always a houseplant that will work for you.
What Are Trailing Plants?
The strict definition of a trailing plant is a plant that has a growth habit of trailing stems or runners. The stems of the plant trail down, swinging with the breeze. This is in contrast to vines, which have tendrils or tiny suction cups that allow them to climb along upright trees, walls, etc.
Vines can trail if there is no suitable support nearby. However, a trailing houseplant will never climb unless it’s tied to the support.
Where Can Trailing Houseplants be Hung Around the Home?
Trailing houseplants tend to have a lush, tropical look that makes them a great fit for the bathroom or patio. Their ability to sway in a breeze means they’re a good choice in front of windows, hung over the porch, or by doorways in higher-traffic areas.
These plants can also be used to direct attention. Use the brightly colored ones to draw the eye toward your favorite architectural features, like that stone fireplace or hardwood ceiling beams. Meanwhile, bushier trailing plans can block the view of less aesthetic items like an electrical panel or trash chute.
However, some draping plants are toxic to pets. If your cat gets excited by those swaying stems and chews in them, he might get quite sick. Before bringing in any plants to a household with pets, look up whether they’re toxic to dogs or cats. You can have those varieties around but keep them well out of reach.
How Do You Hang Trailing Plants Up?
Not all trailing plants do well in a hanging pot, so start by picking a species from the list below, as all of these plants will thrive as houseplants in your home.
Next, set up a secure attachment point with mounting hardware. The simplest system is to screw a Q-hanger or plant hook into the ceiling or wall. Make sure you’re screwing directly into a ceiling beam or wall joist so the plant won’t come down.
Finally, choose a hanging system. There are a wide variety of pots and baskets available, including:
- weatherproof resin baskets
- sturdy metal hangers
- rustic fiber lined planters
- textured ceramic pots
- and stylish glass vessels
Pop your hanging houseplant into the pot and suspend it via a rope, chain, or macrame net. Some plant containers can also be hung directly from the attachment point.
The 9 Best Trailing Plants for the Home
Every variety of trailing plant has its own quirks and needs. The direct sunlight that a Spider Plant can thrive in may damage a Philodendron. Meanwhile, Burro’s Tail withers at a light touch of frost while English Ivy is hard to kill even if you try. For this reason, you’ll want to ask for care instructions from your plant supplier or look them up in a good online database.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
You’ve probably seen spider plants before. They’re one of the most common indoor hanging plants around. Spider plants have striped green leaves and dangle bushy clusters at the ends of their delicate runners.
These evergreens need excellent pot drainage and tolerate full sun to full shade (they are a great low-light plant). If you get tired of them as a houseplant, they can transition to ground cover. However, they’ll die off during winters under 15 °F.
Bonus… Spider plants are also a hard to kill houseplant, which is perfect for beginners.
String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
This plant, sometimes called Rosary Vine, has tiny, spherical leaves. The unusual shape and lime green color makes this a great addition to a group of hanging pots. It adds texture and bright color to the display.
As a succulent, String of Pearls can tolerate periods of drought but not over-watering. Make sure the pot has great drainage.
Pothos (many varieties)
There are a wide variety of plants in the Pothos family, but most of them adapt beautifully to hanging in a basket. This vining plant has tougher stems than many others, and can filter toxins out of the air. It also comes in a variety of variegated leaf colors.
Pothos plants are easy to care for houseplants and enjoy dappled shade. They can get quite large, so plant them in bigger pots (1-3 gallons).
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
One of the most romantic and rustic houseplants is a basket of trailing ivy. English ivy is a rugged plant that can tolerate full sun to full shade, humid conditions or dry, and bounces back from damage.
However, if a stem breaks off and roots next to your home, be careful. It can damage older brick and wood as it grows.
String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)
String of Hearts is a succulent vine with mottled green leaves growing sparsely along the stem. The leaves are heart-shaped, inspiring the name. This plant has a cool-toned color and a silvery tone that can work well as an accent to warmer displays.
Its vines grow quite long, up to 4 feet, so make sure it has plenty of room.
Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)
This plant is often seen growing from trees in tropical gardens, but it can adapt to hanging planter life. It’s a fern with broad, splitting leaves that resemble the horns of a stag.
Staghorn ferns can tolerate full sun to dappled shade, but they need good drainage. Cold winters of below 25 °F could kill them, so you’ll have to take the plant indoors.
Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
Burro’s Tail is one of those indoor trailing plants that looks dainty but creates a big visual impact. It has tiny, overlapping leaves growing down the vines, creating a delicate braided look.
This plant is fairly fragile, dying off from frost and over-watering. It also breaks easily, but don’t worry; the branches will root in a new pot.
Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
Prayer Plant is easily recognized for its large leaves with geometric blotches of contrasting color. These are often dark green or reddish purple. The underside of the leaves tends to be a strikingly different color, for instance a silvery green or purple.
Prayer Plant prefers the shade, but needs good drainage in the pot. This plant has pretty, almost orchid-shaped flowers in the late spring. Different varieties offer a number of different colors.
Hoya (Hoya carnosa)
Hoya, or Wax Plant, may be best known for its clusters of waxy, sweet-scented flowers. It’s a particularly good fit for hanging from the porch or a window. The pink, mauve, and white flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
This succulent vine prefers to be under-potted. You can save the extra-large pots for other plants like Pothos varieties.